If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse by a coach, you can contact Hall Law P.A. We have effectively pursued these sensitive cases and will fight tirelessly to defend your legal rights. Call (800) 292-1979 or request a free consultation online today.
Why Choose Our Firm?
- We will stand by you every step of the way to ensure your abuser is held accountable.
- We have secured millions in compensation for survivors in Minnesota sexual abuse and assault cases.
- Our team has the skill and experience in this area of law to overcome the unique legal challenges involved.
Coach Abuse in Gymnastics & Hockey
As we’ve seen with USA Gymnastics and the Larry Nassar case, as well as the Chicago Blackhawks scandal, coaches and therapists can take advantage of their positions of authority to abuse those in their care. Assault can even occur on multiple occasions. For example, the Larry Nassar/USA Gymnastics case demonstrates how abuse can occur under the radar for years, and stories of abuse continue to surface. For at least 14 years, Nassar engaged in sexual abuse under the pretense of providing medical treatment. More than 150 women testified against the former doctor and sports medicine physician.
Although Nassar is serving a jail sentence of more than a century, and USA Gymnastics has filed for bankruptcy, cases of abuse have not disappeared from gymnastics. Abuse is embedded in the culture of the sport, and there is still a long way to go before athletes are genuinely safe. The Indianapolis Star discovered in an investigation that the abuse is widespread and predatory coaches moved from gym to gym without detection.
The Chicago Blackhawks scandal is another example of an insufficient response to sexual assault allegations connected to then-assistant coach Brad Aldrich. For three weeks in 2010, the leadership of the Chicago Blackhawks did nothing after hearing that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player, Kyle Beach. Beach stated that Aldrich threatened him with a souvenir baseball bat before sexually assaulting him.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Abused By an Athletic Coach or Adult?
If you experience, witness, or have reasonable suspicion of a crime, including sexual harassment, abuse, or assault, especially involving a minor (under 18 years old):
- Report it to law enforcement as soon as possible, as some laws require reporting within 24 hours.
- Victims: Contact a parent or guardian, then go to a hospital or medical center to be seen by a forensic nurse. Notify the police and ask to speak with officials who work specifically with victims of assault or sexual violence, including specially-trained investigators.
- Report the crime immediately to the U.S. Center for SafeSport online or (720) 531-0340.
What are Signs of Abusive Coaching Behavior?
Abuse by a coach can be sexual, verbal, emotional, and/or physical injuries. Repeated exposure to abuse is harmful to mental development, especially among kids and adolescents. These are some red flags to look out for, particularly in young athlete and coach relationships:
- Something feels off or wrong
- Closed-door meetings
- One on one communication online or through the phone
- Controlling behavior (e.g., eat this, not that)
- Angry and/or violent outbursts
- Grooming behaviors directed at both children and parents
- Unable to talk to or be heard by a coach about mental or physical health
- Not being able to talk to people or support staff around a coach because they’re extremely loyal to them
- Your child, athlete, or teammate seems off, stressed, or as if something’s wrong; they might try to tell you something that’s hard for them to say or you to hear